Thursday, December 15, 2016

Surprise! Newsweek Blames Islamophobia for Hoax about Islamophobia

[Update: In the time it took me to write this, Lucy Westcott - @lvzwestcott - has disappeared from Twitter.]

Yesterday, I reported on the case of Yasmin Seweid - the 18-year-old Muslima who made international headlines by claiming to have been harassed by Islamophobic Trump bullies on the New York Subway, only to later admit that she made the whole thing up. She has now been charged with filing a false police report. Towards the end of my post, I wrote:
I wager that the "aspiring fashion model" will come out of this just fine. Islamophobia forced her to lie, you see. How else could this powerless young woman get Americans to face up to their own racism? I predict she'll be a spokeswoman for CAIR (Council for American-Islamic Relations) within five years. Or some such.
I was honestly surprised at how quickly my prediction came to pass.

You can read most of the above referenced Newsweek article here.

To be fair, author Lucy Westcott doesn't explicitly blame only Islamophobia for Miss Seweid's malicious and dishonest behavior. There's an implicit bit in her article about possible pressures coming from immigrant parents who might be overly demanding.

Wait, isn't that a racist stereotype?

But the general theme is clear. It's tough to be a Muslim teenager in America, mainly due to . . . America. This might drive you to file a false police report and in the process publicly lie about non-Muslim New Yorkers (many of them are liable to assault you; many of the rest, if they witness it, will not lift a finger to help).

It's now being reported that Seweid invented the story in part to account for the fact that she was late coming home. I don't disbelieve this, but it doesn't completely explain it - after all, there are a million possible lies a teenager could tell her parents that don't involve being attacked by racist Trump supporters.

Or not. If we're going to absolve Seweid from all or at least most of her moral responsibility, I propose this: The ideology of Islam with its ever-present "us vs. them" subtext and its endorsement of "Taqiyya" or lying in the cause of Islam, coupled with the contemporary liberal obsession with hate speech/hate crimes/racism/Islamophobia, etc. presented the teenager with only one real alternative - or so it appeared in her own mind:

Fake a hate crime.

I'm all for trying to help liberate Miss Seweid from the pressures of Islam and liberalism. Can we at least put some kind of restraining order on, say, any further exposure to the Koran, or at a minimum, American fake-news publications like Newsweek?

You know, keep her away from the bad influences.

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